Finally, a Night Out…..Both Music and Great Food

Warren Wolf on vibes.
I went to The Dirty Dog Jazz Café last Wednesday night. I have been working long hours and have been exhausted since January but I have seen Warren Wolf before and had to see him again. I saw him at the Detroit Jazz Fest in 2014. Before I saw him I didn’t like vibes.  His performance that they turned me around. He played a great set and I’m glad I made it.


The evening was made better by the return of the Grand Marnier Chocolate soufflé with vanilla cream sauce. It had been off the menu for a bit and was my favorite dessert at the Dirty Dog.

It was a great evening with great music and unexpectedly wonderful food.

Seared Salmon with Salsa Verde and a Spinach, Farro and Orange Salad

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This one is a Blue Apron meal. I am finding with the Blue Apron meals that I am often tweaking the meals to reduce the fat. I up the aromatics to preserve the flavors. On this meal, there were enough new things that I cooked the meal as suggested by Blue Apron.

I had never had a salsa verde and it was really a great flavor addition to the salmon which really does not need any assistance.  The salsa verde was made with garlic paste, almonds, capers and parsley. The garlic was surprisingly pungent and tasty. The almonds added a bit of crunch. The capers added a bit of sour and the parsley freshened the overall taste. Adding olive oil made the salsa a paste.  It brightens the salmon considerably.

I have now had Farro a couple of times and it is a wonderful grain. It is remarkably filling with a lovely nutty flavor. The Farro was warm when I added the pickled shallots, spinach, orange zest and orange pieces.  Even with seasoning, the flavor was not quite bright enough for me. The orange was too sweet for my taste so I added a bit of rice vinegar.

It was an extremely satisfying meal.

Not My Mama’s Catfish……

 

Spiced catfish, braised greens and cheesy grits with poblano pepper.

There are some foods in my life that I don’t eat because of past experience, poor expectations or dietary sensitivity. Cat fish falls I to the poor expectations category.

During World War II, my father was stationed in Ft. Leonardwood, MO and my mother was there. I remember during my childhood my mother talking about her experiences there. She talked about going to the farmers market and buying catfish. It was alive when she took it home in a bucket. She talked about how it was a bottom feeder and had the flavor of the muddy Mississippr river. We never had it when I was a child.

So, it was a shock when I liked it. Granted, I didn’t have to kill or filet the fish.  I think it was farm raised and the muddy taste was not there.  The grits had cheddar cheese and cooked poblano pepper added. The collard greens were braised.  The meal was above average. I do thank Blue Apron for introducing me to another new food.

A Frozen Two Days

Winter has finally arrived here in Michigan. It is cold outside and I fully expect it at this time of year. But, for me the last two days, I have been stuck in freezing inside situations. 

Yesterday, on Monday, I had an endoscopy to see how my ulcers were doing. Unfortunately, they’re doing well so we’re trying a different treatment. I entered the place where I was having the procedure and there was no heat. Everyone in the waiting room was bundled up against the cold and the staff was handing out heated blankets while we waited. After waiting for an hour, my designated driver and I went to the room where we get wheeled into the procedure room and where we recover.  Still no heat and in a hospital gown with a heated blanket the lost its heat fast.  I had a very fast recovery so I could get into the cold car and get to my warm home. It took a couple of hours to warm.

Today, I started back to work in my seasonal job.  The office had no heat all day. Hopefully, my next day at work there will be heat.  

Curtis Taylor Quartet at Cliff Bells – 12/27/2015

 

Curtis Taylor Quartet l to r: Nate Winn(drums), Curtis Taylor(tpt), Marion Heyden (bass) and Kamau Kenyatta (piano) photo by Mark Brown

I went to Cliff Bells that night with certain expectations. I had never heard Curtis Taylor. The other three musicians are well known in Detroit although Kamau Kenyatta does not live in Detroit.

My favorite of the evening was Freddie Freeloader, an old standard. Curtis Taylor played a wonderfully melodic version of this and all songs during the evening. Nate Winn is an articulate was, as usual, able to raise the performance level.  I had expected to get “smooth” jazz from Kamau Kenyatta and instead got a fierce and passionate performance.

It was a good musical evening.

Noah Jackson Quartet at Cliff Bells – 12/26/2015

Cliff Bells 12/26/2015

The place was decked out for the holidays and for the first set it was standing room only.

 

Jazz Police in attendence…l to r Judy, Marsha, Mie and Pam

Noah Jackson is one of those many musicians who was raised in Detroit and now resides in New York. During the holiday season, many a of the Detroit born musicians return to Detroit for part of the holidays and play at he clubs in town while they were here.

The quartet was called Full Circle and three excellent local musicians filled it to make it a quartet.

 

Noah Jackson

And on keys:

 

Ian Finkelstein

On sax:

 

De’Sean Jones

And last and one of the best:

 

Nate Winn

The music was fierce and passionate. With the professionalism of the musicians, they pushed each other to excel rather than stepping all over each other.

During the second set, we got to sit down so it was much easier for me to just sit back and enjoy the music. For me, my favorite number of the evening was Nica’s Dream composed by Horace Silver. When a group plays a  standard, you get to hear how they treat the music. I found their version more dynamic than what I usually hear. It is so much fun to hear a song played a new way.

 

 

MissyLu: Squirrel Stalker

Several times a day, MissyLu and various squirrels have a run in the yard. At this point, the squirrels know she is coming and MissyLu has her chase routine down pat. 

 

MissyLu’s intended victim..squirrel eating seeds

 
Yesterday, I saw the squirrel and knew Missy was in the yard and wondered why the squirrel was still eating a quiet breakfast.  Missy was watching and moving slowly across the deck. She was doing a hog version of stalking….moving slowly and quietly.

 

Quietly stalking dog

 
And then the squirrel heard and was up the tree with Missy chasing.

 

Squirrel, i see you ….

 
 

Squirrel, i still see you…

 
As the squirrel goes from tree to tree MissyLu follows until the squirrel leaves the yard leaping from tree to tree. Then, MissyLu secures the yard perimeter.  A job well done….until

 

I’m back….

 
When I got MissyLu, I was told that she was a quiet dog who never barked.   MissyLu has found her voice both inside and outside our home.